As a society, we don’t like interruptions. We teach kids to raise their hands in school. We say things like, “Wait until I’m finished talking to Mrs. Smith” or “Don’t interrupt.” From an early age we are taught that interrupting is rude and not to be condoned. God clearly never got that message.
When we look at the events surrounding the birth of Christ, we find numerous interruptions. God interrupts Zechariah’s life with 9 months of muteness. God interrupts Mary’s life with a divine pregnancy. The angels interrupt the shepherds at work. A star interrupts the wise men. I am sure that reading about all these interruptions in their lives feels a lot like your life — interruption after interruption after interruption.
The most intriguing aspect of all these various interruptions is how they result in joy. Mary expresses great joy in her song of praise, The Magnificat (Luke 2:46-55). After being interrupted by the angels, the shepherds went to Bethlehem “to see this thing that has happened” (Luke 2:15). It doesn’t say what their attitude was as they were journeying to Bethlehem, but what we do know is once they got there, they shared the news of joy that the angels gave them. While Zechariah does not immediately respond with joy, after 9 months of being unable to speak, his “tongue is set free” and he begins praising God (Luke 1:64).
Interruptions are interruptions because they are unexpected. If they were expected, we would have scheduled them. Unexpected describes everything about the birth of Christ, and yet this interruption brings with it the greatest joy known to man.
Is it possible that God uses interruption as one means of bringing about joy?
Think about it. In our fast paced lives, if God were to be polite and wait for a break in the conversation, He would likely never get an opportunity to speak. Our schedules are packed to begin with, and when we put the season of Advent on top of that, there is no margin left. What if the interruptions He gives us are meant to bring about joy instead of headaches? Is it possible to shift our thinking and allow God to bring about joy through these moments?
Over the next 2 days, look for the joy in each interruption. If your child needs to speak with you while you are trying to get the final details on a project or while you are wrapping presents, is there joy in that moment? If you bump into a friend when on a tight schedule, can that moment bring joy? Does looking for the joy change your outlook on the rest of your day?